Friday, May 18, 2007

Count The Cost And Surrender

The Cost of Being a Disciple

Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'

"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
"He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

- Luke 14

Do you think you can go up against God and win?

We all build our lives like a tower that we don't have the funds to finish. We will die and that will be the end of our tower.

Afterward, we will meet our maker, a demanding sort who is more powerful than we can possibly imagine. We don't want to face Him as an enemy. We need to send an envoy to seek peace now, while He is far off. He will want complete surrender of everything, but that is reasonable considering His power and position and our poverty and helplessness.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Kingdom Values

Loyalty to kingdom values rejects all subservience to temporal things, whether that subservience be the type which accumulates endlessly, or the type stamped by a frenetic, faithless, and worried scurry for essentials. - D. A. Carson

The culture of western Christianity keeps us from risking anything for the Gospel. Comfort keeps us from being risk takers for the Gospel. See the big picture. The Holy Spirit is all the Comforter we need. We need to be willing to do whatever God wants.
-What are you willing to risk for Christ?
-When did you last leave your comfort zone for Christ?
-Will you be a risk taker?
- Thad Blount

Jesus left heaven and came to earth to be misunderstood, hated, lied about and killed violently. He did this for you and me out of love. There is no way to repay him for what he did. All we can give him back is all we have and all we are. The Bible says that he did it for the joy that he saw on the other side. It also says that we are his trophies. He wants to show us off as trophies of grace. He paid a high price for us and we become his treasured possession.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Skip Coryell

My roommate in college wanted to be a writer. One time I was busy when Skip asked me to type up a paper for him. I had a little time so I did type it and realized that he was gifted at writing. Several years after I left college I happened to notice a photo on the front of a Sunday school paper that was taken at my college. I saw that the article was written by Skip and it was a story about how he broke his ankle playing soccer but it ended up in the chance to talk to a young man in his hospital room about the Lord.

Very recently I saw in a college magazine that Skip had authored some books and I got on his website. I also wrote him e-mails and it was great to see an old friend realize his dream and use his gift for the Lord.

Skip's Website

The Red Pill

I am reading Inside Skip's Brain and enjoying it very much.

Sample Skip's Brain

Skip is big on Second Amendment rights. I agree with much of what he says, but like Skip, I believe men are evil at heart and sin is the big problem and only the Lord Jesus can solve that problem for men.

One time I said something dumb while we were talking in our dorm room and Skip turned to me and said, "Carl, are you a dullard?" I will never forget that as he always had a great sense of humor and was fun and sincere. Skip was in the Marine Reserve and punched a hole in our dorm room closet door with an umbrella showing us the six basic maneuvers for rifle with fixed bayonet.

Listening to his voice on the podcast from the Iowa radio station on his website he sounds like he has matured over the years and his voice has changed. He sounds more articulate and speaks well. I can see that he makes a great guest on a radio talk show.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dallas View Out My Hotel Window

The area north of my hotel had interesting apartments and condos and had a real sense of community. It had shops and parks. It seemed like a nice place to live. I went jogging through the neighborhood.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Grace Bible Church, Dallas, Texas

I enjoyed visiting Grace Bible Church in the Dallas area today. One thing the pastor taught about prayer and living our life in faith:

Not how you begin, but that you begin.
Not how you begin, but how you end.

The kind folks were very friendly and welcoming to me at the two services I attended.

They said we should pray with "naked honesty" before God. We have to be at the end of ourselves before we will pray with complete dependence on God. A mustard seed of faith can then go a long way with God's power.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Atlanta Airport Sunset

Sometimes you get a nice calm moment in your travels when you know why God brought you there.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

View At Salt Lake City Airport As You Deplane

Mountain Just North of Downtown Salt Lake City

There is a cliff that drops off just north of downtown Salt Lake City. The mountains dwarf the buildings downtown.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Aaron Shot This Photo Of Nelix The Dog

Aaron turned 12 on Sunday and got a digital camera for his birthday. He shot his dog with it and here is the result.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

February Bloom

This picture was taken today, February 11. I saw a bush in Alabama blooming in January, so I guess there is something blooming every month of the year in Alabama. I didn't think that was possible, but now I have the visual evidence. This flower was in our front yard near the hedge we have by the fence.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Gift Band - Music With A Message

Chad's band has a website where you can hear a couple of tracks off their album. Chad is the drummer and he works for the same company I do. He manages the Kansas City branch.

The Gift Band

Friday, January 12, 2007

Family Photo (with snow)

This is the first photo we got with the whole family in the shot. I guess the snow was just a bonus.